Man, I need a drink... I thought that I would at least be able to enjoy my summer after a very difficult spring term and series of final exams... but now I'm feeling overwhelmed, and the same sense of dread over car problems... It's like all our cars have conspired to ruin my summer... The Mini Cooper decided to start having misfires, my E420 keeps saying there's something up with one of its O2 sensors even though I have already replaced it. As a result, the tags are about to expire because it can't pass the smog check. My little brother's E320 decided it wants a new conductor plate and an alternator/voltage regulator. Then there's the S600, something in the AC decided to let go of the magic smoke, with summer just over the horizon. Just looking at it intimidates me much like S430 I had before. Far more complicated than the old Tahoe, Mini and W210 mercs we have.
Why am I shouldering this you ask? Well I got a little too overconfident after I decided to personally maintain our cars. Oil changes, some body work, a few successful trips to the salvage yards, and subsequent repairs had me feeling good, so I spent all of my saved money and transformed the garage into a little repair shop... The start of a fun hobby I thought, so yeah it hurts a bit whenever my mom sees me struggle and says to me "Well, maybe we should go to an actual mechanic?" Kinda starting to wish that my dad had taught us to like Lexus cars instead... Hahaha
Man, I have to regroup mentally, focus on one car at a time, and follow through...
Anyway, I can return the scanner, it's just something I bought from Amazon, but I don't think that I gave it a fair chance, I'm the incompetent one lol Though I believe you, you're far more knowledgeable, but ultimately I'd hate to ask my parents for any more money, until I have some positive results.
I've read about the diagnostic system you were referring to. Definitely pricey and a little too complicated for me to wrap my head around at the moment. That one thread were you were trying to perfect your karaoke setup last year
These being the first cars I work on is definitely a baptism by fire, or whatever they call it... Hahaha
You sound like a younger version of me. I got started with cars on a more serious level about three years ago (yes, I'm a n00bie). Today, I do *all* maintenance on our cars. The only time I take our cars to a shop is for tires, and that's Costco.
SDS = STAR Diagnostic System. The "STAR", of course, refers to the MB three-pointed-star.
Like you, I was kinda reluctant to pop for the SDS. "Why don't I just get an Autel that will do just about any vehicle?", I asked. Then I saw what SDS can do, and I read
's thread describing his and how he bought it. The tool is specific to MB-manufactured vehicles, but it's the only tool that does *everything* in that car. Even Autel, good as it is, doesn't do everything that SDS can.
A full-blown, turn-key SDS setup can be had for US $600. How do I know? Because that's what mine cost me. :-) It's got all the cables and adaptors for the older Benzes, too. It's probably the best $600 that I've spent, automotively. That thing has saved me tens of thousands of dollars, and no, I'm not exaggerating. My mechanic buddy, a Master-ASE certified fellow who's been doing this for 36 years now, agrees (he just got his).
You've got an S600? Well, on my S600 alone, that $600 SDS setup has saved me in excess of $30,000. Yes, in excess of
$30,000 (I stopped counting at that point). For that one car. Our V8 M-B's? On average, between $6,000 and $7,000 each.
I had an oxygen sensor problem with my S600, much like your brother's E420. I had the problem traced down in about 10 minutes and fixed that very same day.
If you want to DIY on Mercedes-Benz, I can tell you, spending the $600 really is an investment that pays back. I am glad to have been proved wrong on my initial skepticism. This ain't my Honda Civics. These are Mercedes-Benzes, and they've got computers that control Everay-Thaang!
Seriously, my man, spend the $600. It really is worth it for what you're wanting to do.